Lisa Edwards Burrs, soprano
Lisa Edwards-Burrs, who has been described as “a soprano of crystalline beauty”, received degrees in Vocal Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia (B.M. and M.M.) and The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (D.M.A.). An accomplished lyric-coloratura soprano, her performances in recital, oratorio and chamber music are extensive. Her operatic roles include: Athena in The Furies, Ola/Harriet Tubman in Vanqui, Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Monica in The Medium, Despina in Così fan tutti, Treemonisha in Treemonisha, Adina in L’elisir d’amore and Poppea in L’incoronazione di Poppea.
She has performed on many occasions with several regional orchestras in Virginia and the District of Columbia and has received numerous prizes and awards including the Carson Silver Medal in the Savannah! Onstage American Traditions Vocal Competition and the Outstanding Vocalist of the Year for Excellence in the Arts from Richmond Magazine. Internationally, she represented the United States as an Artistic Ambassador, touring several countries in South America for five weeks presenting concerts, lectures and master classes.
She has also traveled to Caux, Switzerland and to several cities in Italy performing in recitals, aria concerts and opera. In addition, she has performed on the concert series’ of numerous universities, as well as at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Schomburg Center in New York. Her performances of the works of African-American composers and other contemporary works have received critical acclaim.
As an affiliate artist of Opera North, Inc., Dr. Edwards-Burrs was featured in the leading roles of Miranda in the Philadelphia premiere of H. Leslie Adams’ Blake and Cleopatra in the world premiere of Egypt’s Nights by composer Leslie Burrs and acclaimed author and sculptor Barbara Chase-Riboud. She was also featured in the opening gala concert of the international conference celebrating the works of Brazilian composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos, hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University.
Some recent performances include: Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor with the Williamsburg Choral Guild and orchestra; “Holiday Pops” concerts with the Williamsburg Symphonia in Williamsburg, Va, and the lead role of Alice in the world premiere of Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadows, an opera by composer Steven M. Allen, based on the life and relationship of Paul Laurence Dunbar and his wife, Alice. She is an Assistant Professor of Voice at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia.